October 5, 2010, 12:43 PM

E-retailers capture more than a third of all Halloween consumers

Consumers cite convenience, selection, lower prices and the ability to compare prices.

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More than two-thirds, or 68%, of U.S. consumers will buy Halloween items this season, and 35% of those consumers are planning to buy those products online, according to research conducted exclusively for Internet Retailer.

The Halloween-focused Internet Retailer Holiday Shopping Survey polled more than 2,000 consumers and finds that 71% of the online shoppers expect to spend between $25 and $100 on Halloween items. The categories consumers will shop the most online are costumes (71%), decorations (59%) and accessories/makeup/wigs (44%).

Demographically, online shoppers for Halloween gear skew younger. 46% of online Halloween shoppers are 18 to 34; 40% are 35 to 54 and about 14% are 55 or older. When asked to select their main reason for choosing to shop online, convenience and time-saving (29%) edged out larger selection (27%). 17% cite lower prices and 13% point to the ease of comparing prices.

The research, conducted in late September by Lightspeed Online Research Inc., also delved into what motivates consumers to buy from a particular online retailer. Online shoppers cite price, selection and discounted or free shipping as their prime criteria. Least motivating were free-gifts-with-purchase offers and customer reviews.

Consumers who do not plan to shop online say their prime reason for shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores is to see items in person before buying (53%), while 41% say they like the experience of visiting and shopping in stores for Halloween. The research notes that payment security concerns are least important—just 7% of Halloween shoppers noted it as a reason why they would not purchase online.

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